Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Here's a sober topic to ponder

I've always been forthright on the facts of medication in our household. As in, I take a shitload, and so does the Boy. Most of my meds are heart or asthma related, but there is that Effexor that makes me a pleasant human being, and I do have some Xanax for flying and other freak-out moments. The Boy has even more fun drugs, all of them prescription. One in particular, you know, the one that begins with an R, is deemed the most dangerous drug in the world for our children to take. Yup, Ritalin. He takes it in two different forms, as a long lasting capsule with a pump in it, called Concerta, and then regular tablet form in the afternoons for the ability to concentrate on the homework he never does, and honestly, to keep me from killing him.

The Girl won't even take tylenol. She's totally anti-medication.

Anyhow, we've had popular street meds in our house for years and I've never really worried about it. Or thought about it for that matter. We leave mine in my medicine cabinet, and the Boy's on a shelf in the living room. Or we did until today. For it dawned on me that this was a really stupid thing to do, especially with teens coming in and out of our house on a daily basis.

I don't think my kid's friends are inherently dishonest or would be drug pushers if they could, but having bottles of medication sitting in front of them isn't safe. I worry that a kid might go into the bathroom, open the medicine cabinet, and help themselves to my meds without knowing how dangerous that could be. Some of the meds I take are very serious drugs and aren't to be taken lightly, never mind without a heart condition. But how would a kid know that?

Today I made the Boy put his meds into a drawer, out of sight of anyone interested in "borrowing" some pills to sell or take. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with mine. I don't have a medicine cabinet that locks, and I don't think there is any way to make mine lock. Replacing it would mean taking down quite a bit of tile, and I'm not willing to do that either. A lock box is possible, but if my meds aren't right in front of me, I forget to take them. I'm not great at medicine compliance in the best situation, so moving them seems stupid to me.

I'm kind of out of ideas.

The point of this is, if you have teen babysitters or teens of any stripe that enter your home, have you thought about the safety of your medications? I don't know what the liability issues are, but I have a feeling that if a kid took your medicines in your home, a parent might sue. Anyone know about the legality of this?

Scares the shit out of me to think that a kid might help themselves to my meds. But I'm pragmatic. I know it's going to happen, it is the nature of teens to do incredibly stupid and thoughtless things, thinking themselves invincible. I don't want it to happen to me, and I don't want it to happen to you, either.
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Blogger mommyof4 said...

My son my husband and I all are on phyciatric meds. I never reallt thought about that before! I will be keeping an eye on them when any friends are in the house!I guess that is all I can do. I can't lock them up either or I will forget to take them and give them to my son:(

15/3/06 7:41 PM  
Blogger nita said...

we had a leftover bottle of codeine in our med cab and the guy who did no work laying our carpet took them all! and i offered him a beer which he accepted and that led to a virtual work shutdown cuz we has all loaded....

i keep mine in my purse but it's for not being so i suppose not too valuable with teh stoner set :)

16/3/06 12:24 AM  
Blogger barbie2be said...

you shouldn't have to lock up your meds in your own home but the truth of it is, that teens will be teens and sometimes they take things that don't belong to them. especially if they think they might get a high from it.

here from michele's.

16/3/06 12:25 AM  
Blogger Plumkrazzee said...

Other than OTC meds, I don't have much anyone would want to take. My thyroid med and an occasional pain pill is about as fun as it comes around here. I do, however, keep all meds in the highest cabinet in the house, in the busiest room of the house. Good stuff to think about, Michele sent me.

16/3/06 1:09 AM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

I really don't have any suggestions for you , apart from a safe.
Congrats on being Micheles site of the day, I am buzzed on champagne (read my TT if you want to know why lol)
Have a good day I sure am :D

16/3/06 1:39 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Margalit,
Congrats on being Michele's site of the day! Fun, isn't it?

This certainly is a serious situation, isn't it? I think you are right about the teens, and maybe even other people...if you have work people or somrthing? Years and Years ago, I had some pain medication in the medicne cabinet and this was a perscription that had just been filled, so there was quite a lot in the bottle. Some workmen were here doing something with my VCR's and TV, and such....a few hours after they left, I went into the bathroom and noticed that the medicine cabinet door was open slightly....I never leave it that way so I opened it further and there was the EMPTY Bottle of pain medication, but all the pills were gone. One of those guys used the bathroom, I remembered, and it had to be him that took it. The point being, even if it is in a cabinet, if it is not locked...someone....anyone, can take it! OY! So I really feel for you and your dilemma, especially considering you need to have your medication in front of you...Is there any way you can carry it on your person? In a pocket, maybe? Or a couple of pockets, if need be? At least you know you have it with you all the time and no one is going to be able to open a bottle of yours. Just an idea, my dear Margalit.

16/3/06 4:07 AM  
Blogger answer-man said...

ps I'm having a little trouble sending comments so if I do it twice please excuse me and I apologize.

16/3/06 6:00 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

I have never had that problem, as the worst stuff I've ever had around was some codeine. I keep all our meds in a plastic box on the highest shelf in the kitchen cabinet. That might not prevent theft, but you might be more likely to see it happening.

Congrats on being the site of the day.

16/3/06 6:17 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

We don't have anything more than a few aspirins!
Congrats on being S of the D!

16/3/06 6:39 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Gosh, that's a really good point. We're beyond babysitters but we do have loads of teens in and out of our house all the time. This also makes me think about the beer in the basement fridge - yikes!

Congrats on being Michele's site of the day. Greetings from Wisconsin. *waves*

16/3/06 7:04 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Hi Margalit! I have thought of the same things you are thinking of..my youngest is on the same meds as yours. His timed release are in a 7 day dispenser in the kitchen, and the full bottle of the concerta plus the regular tabs are kept in a pantry cabinet behind about 50 million vitamins and supplements (enough to discourage the most die hard junkie, I'm betting!) Since you're not likely to forget that he NEEDS that supplementary tab in the afternoon, maybe putting only those away out of sight would help? My mom keeps her BP pills in a drawer near her computer so that she will remember to take them also. Congrats on being the site of the day, today!

16/3/06 7:36 AM  
Blogger Paige said...

Hi ya, Michelle sent me. Hide those pills baby!

16/3/06 8:19 AM  
Blogger Andria said...

Eh, no big deal. Just keep the med's in your bedroom or private bathroom and then let it be known that you've installed a "new" security system throughout the house... you know, to protect your jewelry or something.

Most kids are paranoid enough to stay away from a place where they think you'll be able to prove they've been, and frankly the ones who won't would get to it regardless of where you put it.

Just stick them in a low traffic place that non family members should have no reason to go and then talk to your kids about never talking about where they're kept.

Anyway, there's your unsolicited advise for the day.

Best of luck!

16/3/06 9:03 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

I will be curious to see what someone comes up with. I have a BIL who had a "problem" self medicating and I have to run around and hide anything that might get him going including booze and/or pain pills (used for tendonitis - I am not addicted or anything). The R drug has been a problem locally for teens so I can see what your issue is :( -- Michele sent me.

16/3/06 9:21 AM  
Blogger Dr. Cissa Fireheart said...

I know this is a weird idea, but it worked for some people I know.

For YOUR Med's, go to Wal-amrt and purchase a lockable cash box or aquivalent. keep it in your room, or under your bathroom sink in the cabinet. More people look in medicine cabinets above, than below. Then you have the key to your meds, and the teens can't get to them. Problems solved....hopefully.. Good luck with it!

16/3/06 9:32 AM  
Blogger Dr. Cissa Fireheart said...

I know this is a weird idea, but it worked for some people I know.

For YOUR Med's, go to Wal-amrt and purchase a lockable cash box or aquivalent. keep it in your room, or under your bathroom sink in the cabinet. More people look in medicine cabinets above, than below. Then you have the key to your meds, and the teens can't get to them. Problems solved....hopefully.. Good luck with it!

16/3/06 9:32 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Something to think about! No ideas for ways to keep your meds out of reach but in sight unless you can find a clearlock box of some kind but if they really want them - they'll find a way to get them! Here via Michele's.

16/3/06 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Janet (fondofsnape@gmail.com) said...

That's a tough problem. How about in your bedroom, on a bureau? Does your bedroom door have a lock on it? Oh, and hi, Michele sent me.

16/3/06 9:44 AM  
Blogger Goofy Girl said...

I don't really have any brilliant solutions but I think it's good you're aware of the fact that people might want to take your medications.

Michele sent me- Congrats on being the site of the day!

16/3/06 10:07 AM  
Blogger Finn said...

I have no ideas except to maybe put your meds someplace that you'll see them regularly, but that someone else would have to really look for to find.

BTW, if your medicine cabinet is in the bathroom, it's not really the best place to keep your meds anyway. The humidity isn't good for them.

Hi - Michele sent me!

16/3/06 10:08 AM  
Blogger jennypenny said...

Just keep them all out of sight. It is a real possibility that teens especially, coming into your house will be tempted. Better to be safe than sorry, and besides they are all so expensive! Congratulations on your site of the day status, isn't it fun??

16/3/06 11:06 AM  
Blogger Cin said...

Good morning! Michele sent me.

You bring up a really good point, and one that seems to be a 'better safe than sorry" situation. My suggestion? Get a lock put on a drawer - any drawer. Then put your meds there. The cost is minimal when compared to the costs of dealing with any damage they might cause to someone who takes something they aren't supposed to....

16/3/06 11:21 AM  
Anonymous archshrk said...

Hello, Michele sent me.
Good point about drug safety. I think many of us would forget that just because we trust our kids, those they bring home with them may not be so trustworthy. SAme with sitters or the cable guy.

16/3/06 12:38 PM  
Blogger Happy Mama to Three said...

As you know chickadee, I take tons of meds to control the conditions I fight every day. I have a dose box that I leave out that has my meds for each day of the week separated out. Then I have my bottles of meds all in a ziploc bag and in my sewing bag. Typically whever I am my cross stitch bag goes with me so my meds are watched every day. Unfortunately our family found out that friends or visitors will "borrow" your medication when about 100 morphine went missing from my Mama's medicine cabinet after she had her 6th back surgery. I figure the amount I have in my weekly case isn't going to give anyone that big a thrill, and it keeps me reminded to take my meds each day.

Good luck solving this quandry.


16/3/06 1:38 PM  
Blogger used*to*be*me* said...

When we lived in Utah we had foster kids. I had to lock up the various meds, including our normals like Tylenol, Sudafed, etc. I guess it was a good habit to be in because I still do it and we don't have the fosters anymore but we have 14's friends in and out all day long.

PS - congrats on being Michele's SOTD. Nice job.

16/3/06 2:05 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

If you have more than one bathroom, you can designate one of the the "drug free zone" and make that the bathroom that guests MUST use at all times. Make the other bathroom off-limits.

I keep my meds in a container on a shelf, but it's not easily reachable. For the most part, we have tylenol (in all forms and varieties) and cough/cold stuff, but the stuff I take is probably something that needs locked up. You can also leave the meds in YOUR room and lock the room when friends are over. Same with sitters.

Michele sent me!

16/3/06 2:06 PM  
Blogger KaraMia said...

wow, criminy. I never thought about this, but, I'm still under the teenage years for a few. I put my meds in this cavernous hole that I call a purse. It means I make alot of noise when walking, but what the hell, I like an audience.
Here via michele today

16/3/06 3:03 PM  
Blogger Kimi said...

Definitely something to think about.

Here via Michele....Congrats on being the site of the day. :)

16/3/06 3:26 PM  
Anonymous netchick said...

Hmmm... you make good points! Having no kids in my home, I've never even considered the issue. Maybe just hiding it is good enough?

Congrats on being Michele's SOTD!

16/3/06 4:19 PM  
Blogger Star said...

Good point. My husband has some meds on the kitchen counter. Our kids are grown but now we have a grandson. I will ahve to soon out them out of sight, and harms way. Michele sent me.

16/3/06 9:05 PM  
Blogger mar said...

YOu have a very good point. You are more concious because you know the meds you take can be dangerous. Thanks for making us think about it! and congrats on being the site of the day!

17/3/06 1:33 AM  

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